A Travellerspoint blog

November 2009

Officially on My Way

I'm not certain if I can really say that I am officially on my way yet or not? I am away from home. I made it to Chicago via Amtrak today and am lounging at the Hyatt (got a great deal on Hotwire). It was a little bit of an adventure getting here though (no, nothing bad).

I couldn't sleep last night and had an early morning wake-up call for 0530. I had to make the train in Waterloo at 0730 and didn't want to feel rushed. About 0400 I finally got tired and figured that if I fell asleep, I would be a horrible bitch to everyone if I only got an hour of sleep so decided to spare everyone and stayed awake.

I was surprised at how busy the mock-station was at Waterloo. There were at least 20 people boarding at the same time as me! And here I though that I would be the only one there.

I slept on the train most of the way to Chicago. Getting from the Amtrak station to the subway was a bit of an adventure. I had forgotten that the transfer wasn't in the same building and couldn't for the life of me, remember where I needed to go. After 2 wrong directions and about an hour and half of walking (with backpack) through and around downtown Chicago, I finally found the right place! At least it didn't pour down rain on me!

If I've been asked once, I've been asked a thousand times; 'aren't you excited?'. I am...I think? It's weird, I was more excited when I first found out and now that I am actually on my way it's almost like I am numb to it. I don't feel apprehensive or overly excited, I feel more at peace than anything. I don't know if it hasn't hit me yet or what?

So tomorrow I hop on a plane to Germany.....

The weirdest thing about all of this is the fact that I have NO keys...!!

Posted by Khandilee 17:01 Archived in Germany Tagged women Comments (4)

Only 5 Days

The count-down is dwindling....

There are equal parts anticipation, fear, excitement and sadness.

I've spent the past few days packing and moving. I'm living with boxes and a mattress on the floor. Some days I feel like I am overwhelmed with things to do and other times I feel like I don't have enough to keep me busy.

Hotels and flights are booked. My 'to-do' list is almost complete. If there is something that I have forgotten, it's nearly too late. I'm taking the Amtrak to Chicago on Saturday and spending my last night in the States alone. I don't know how I feel about this...it's a little sad.

I have a trip to Louisville to drop off the household stuff to Corey for him to use, and two Thanksgiving dinners to attend. It's going to be a very busy 5 days (actually only 4 left here at home). It will be nice to have the family together before I leave.

My emotions have over-taken me on several occasions for no real reason. Having to leave not only the kids but also Aco is a little difficult to say the least. But I am managing.

I have learned a lot in the past month about the people in my life, both near and far. I have been lucky to have made some wonderful friends. I have also been afforded an opportunity to see people for who they really are, and learned who I can count on and who I can't. It's funny what you think and what is real....

A little bitter-sweet....

I arrive in Germany at 0920 (Germany time) and will immediatly begin the paperwork 'in-processing'. It's going to be a very long day for me as I will leave at 0900 EST the previous day. I will attempt to put a note up here or on FB to let everyone know that I have made it safely.

My US phone service will be disconnected on Nov 30th. I will be using skype initially for calls to the states and email or FB will be the best way to contact me until I can come up with something better. If you would like to be able to contact me via skype, shoot me an email and I'll give you the details.

I am looking forward to the experience and hope that you will all take time to write and hopefully visit when you can....

Posted by Khandilee 19:04 Archived in USA Tagged women Comments (2)

Stats on the Pre-Germany Road Trip

Because I'm a geek and I know that you want to know!!

Total Miles Driven: 7511

Home to Ottumwa, IA = 471 miles
to Denver, CO = 586 miles
to Clearfield, UT = 562 miles
to Halfway, OR = 488 miles
to Portland, OR = 554 miles
to Willow, CA = 491 miles
to San Fran, CA = 337 miles
to LA, CA = 367 miles
to Tucson, AZ = 489 miles
to Nogales; El Paso; Austin, TX = 1116 miles **Most driven in one stretch
to New Orleans, LA = 682 miles
to Ft Walton Beach, FL = 314 miles
to Georgetown, IN = 778 miles
to Home = 276 miles **Least driven in one stretch

Total States visited (only counted if I stopped in a state): 11 States; 2 Countries
Iowa
Nebraska
Colorado
Wyoming
Idaho
Oregon
California
Arizona
Mexico
Texas
Louisiana
Florida

Total Days on Trip: 32

Total Nights in Hotel: 7
Halfway, OR = 1 night
Clearfield, UT = 1 night
Willow, CA = 1 night
Tucon, AZ = 1 night
New Orleans, LA = 3 nights

Total Friends visited: 15
Robert; Ottumwa, IA
Jason; Fremont, NE
Teresa K; Kearney, NE
Teresa P; Denver, CO
Kim; Portland, OR
Mike; Portland, OR
Aaron; San Francisco, CA
Judy; Los Angeles, CA
Stephanie; New Orleans, LA
Jenni; Ft Walton Beach, FL
Lisa; Georgetown, IN
Connie; Georgetown, IN
Randall; Corydon, IN
Tony; Corydon, IN
Jason; Corydon, IN

Total New Acquaintances: 14
Lisa; Denver, CO
Dick and Charlene; Hell's Canyon, OR
Jared; Hitchhiking in OR
Peter; San Francisco, CA
Brent; San Francisco, CA
Derek; San Francisco, CA
Matt; San Francisco, CA
Tom; Los Angeles, CA
Don; Palm Springs, CA
Antonio; Nogales Mexico
Trish; Austin, TX
Eric; Austin, TX
Nate; New Orleans, LA
Ricky; Ft Walton Beach, FL

Aco's Doggie Friends: 4
Dakota; Denver, CO
Blacky; Hells Canyon, OR
Bentley; Portland, OR
Leo; San Francisco, CA

I was lucky to have no major traffic jams, no automobile break-downs, no sick days; and only FABULOUS experiences all along the way!

Thank you to all the friends (old and new) that helped make this trip possible!!

Posted by Khandilee 19:26 Archived in USA Tagged automotive Comments (3)

A Brief and Hectic visit Home

After spending a few days in Southern Indiana visiting with my friend Lisa and my boy Corey.....I am back at home, briefly. I will be flying out to Germany in a mere 10 days. I feel like I have a ton of things to do before I leave....

The flights that I booked at Eglin AFB, had to be changed because my sponsor didn't want to have to go to Frankfurt to pick me up. I will now be flying into BWI then transferring to a Military Troop Rotator flight for the remainder of my trip to Ramstein AFB. It will certainly be an experience that few, other than military personnel get.

I have decided to move my personal things out of my apartment here at home in order to save a little extra money. I am taking most of my things to Corey for him to use, and the rest will go into storage. I've been busy sorting and packing.

Aco has relaxed a little bit and seems glad to be in 'home' surroundings.

I found out two days ago that the housing that they have arranged for me in Germany is NOT pet-friendly. I have agonized over this for the past two days and have finally resigned myself to the fact that I am going to have to leave her behind temporarily. I really saddens me. I am a little angry that no one told me that it was going to be an issue to travel with a pet....

I am planning to keep her here with my Mom and fly them both out late Dec or early January. It's really been a difficult decision. So please send good karma that I will find great housing quickly so I can be re-united with my doggie-baby soon.

Off I go to continue packing, study for my German Drivers license and cuddle with my puppy!!

Posted by Khandilee 17:17 Archived in USA Tagged travelling_with_pets Comments (1)

“crazy-lady-with-lit-cigarette-at-gas-pump”

So today started out wonderful. I was able to find my way back to and around Eglin AFB and avoided the nasty Bitch from yesterday. This made me pretty happy! I walked out with my flight confirmation in hand. I will be leaving on December 1st.

I have a mere 18 more days in the US. It’s very exciting and at the same time a little bit daunting. I know that I will miss everyone while I’m gone. I can’t decide if this trip is going to make it easier or more difficult to be away from everyone. I am, however glad that I have made it, be it what it may…

The drive has been pretty good so far with only a couple of minor instances. The first was being nearly run off the road by some trucker that either thought he needed both lanes or was falling asleep. I really don’t know which but I think that I saw my life flash before my eyes…

The other instance should include the headline: “crazy-lady-with-lit-cigarette-at-gas-pump” Kills 80. Seriously…now I know why you Oregon has decided that you are not allowed to pump your own gas. People this stupid really DO exist!!

I was minding my own business having just finished walking Aco. She was happily eating in the back seat on the floor. I was nearly done scraping the bug guts off of the drivers side window when a car pulled up at the pump beside me. A woman steps out of the car and lights a cigarette. “shit” I’m thinking….’’get that thing away from the pumps!” She starts walking away from the pumps (I thought) and ends up walking to the next row of gas pumps. Another car has pulled up there with her friends/traveling companions in it. I still am thinking to myself that she is going to walk away….

NO!! She ends up standing there within a hairs breadth of distance from the fumes wafting up from the ‘friend’ pumping gas and CONTINUES TO SMOKE!! Not only smoking but waving her hand (with LIT cigarette) around in the air for dramatic emphasis and chatting with her friend!!!

WTF !?!? The station is pretty full with most of the 12 or so pumps with people actively using them….I don’t waste any time and hop in the vehicle and speed off, passenger side window with bug guts still intact. I watch in my rearview mirror as I depart thinking that any time I will see a big orange ball of fire erupt behind me…

I didn’t….

So, maybe we should take Oregon’s lead and hire people to pump our gas. Not only in Oregon, but across the country. Think of the amount of jobs that would create. I know in my small hometown there are at least 8 gas stations and if you multiply that by three shifts/day it would create at least 24 jobs. Some stations might want to employ more than one person at times (due to amount of customers) and that would result in even more jobs. Just think of the number of jobs that would be created nationwide if we were to employ this strategy! It’s staggering…and we could avoid the fear of being blown up by the “crazy-lady-with-lit-cigarette-at-gas-pump” kinda people!!

Just a thought….

I am currently sitting on the South-side of Nashville as I write this. It’s near the end of rush hour so I decided to take a break and get a bite to eat. Hopefully, when I am finished the Interstate will be clear of traffic which should make my remaining ~200 miles much easier. I have decided to continue on to Louisville tonight. I have made great time today and am feeling great.

I missed a couple of hopeful stops here at the end of my trip but all is not lost. It was a timing issue and although I didn’t get to re-connect in person, I was able to talk to both on the phone today. Better than nothing, I guess.

Lisa is patiently waiting for me in Louisville and helping to keep me awake and un-distracted on the road.

I’ll update more as soon as I can….

Arrived in Louisville safe and sound. Visiting and enjoying a couple of days of down-time. I will be home on Tuesday and will update soon.

Posted by Khandilee 10:53 Archived in USA Tagged women Comments (2)

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